Why we chose to extend rather than move house.

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Around this time a 3 years ago now we had 99% decided we were moving… we had no idea where but we just were dead set we were moving.

Why we chose to extend rather than move house.

Looking back I have no real idea why we thought it was a good idea of why we even really wanted to to be fair but a seed had been planted and we started looking.



Where to move to.

We looked at a few houses but to move into a noticeable larger house that didn’t need much doing to it would’ve meant buying for at least £50k more than we would be selling and would also have meant quite a big increase each month on our mortgage payments.

Then we decided to look at some cheaper and similar priced houses to ours but they needed ALOT of work doing to them or more often than not they were smaller than the one we were in now!

We even got to the stage of getting an estate agent down, photographs taken and the contract in my inbox ready to print off and drop in to officially put ours on the market …. I felt sick.  It scared me to death…. we hadn’t done anything with the email for about 2 weeks, I had been avoiding phone calls from the estate agents because I knew deep down I didn’t want to move.

What we’ve got now.

We live in a large 3 bedroomed house with a converted loft and a reasonably sized garden, we have been in over paying the mortgage for probably the last 10 years, have 75% ltv meaning we are paying back at really really good rate and have just 10 years left on the mortgage.

It was decided… (eventually!) … we didn’t NEED to move. We don’t need to scrimp ourselves to pay an increased mortgage payment to what we do now for longer than we probably would have left on this one. We didn’t need to have felt we wasted 10 years+ of over paying our mortgage to reduce our term to increase it up to what it was for just a larger living room or kitchen.

The kids are in a local walkable school, I genuinely like the accessibility we have to everything from where we live; the motorway, the Humber Bridge, the shops, the villages and we have absolutely no intention of having any more children (dogs yes children no!)

Don’t get me wrong would’ve liked to have moved but honestly all I really want from a new house is a big piece of gravelled land which would  mean I could park my car ANYWHERE not in a specific and precise place and not have a mark on the fence to say how far I can go back before reversing into the house!  I would also love to live in a detached house… but realistically that’s pretty much it.

Our upstairs had everything we need for our family and more! We just needed to adjust the downstairs to suit what we have now become so we started looking into builders, plans/designs and I did some research on planning permissions etc.

Planning permission

I thought that the element of a renovation to our house and gaining planning permission would be harder than it actually was.  I anticipated the costs of just applying to be in the thousands and given you have to pay upon making the application is it just money down the drain… are they going to say no… are our neighbours going to say no!? But you know what… that was the easy bit and guess what we didn’t need ANY planning permission!

You can find out more information on planning permission etc over at the planning portal but briefly:

An extension or addition to your house is considered to be permitted development, not requiring an application for planning permission, provided certain limits and conditions are met.

Our extension is just 3m off the back of our house – anymore and although we wouldn’t have needed planning permission as such we would’ve however had to consult with our neighbours.  They would’ve had every right to say no but at the end of the day it’s the councils decision so don’t let that put you off especially if you maybe don’t see eye to eye with your neighbours!

I also did the plans myself so we didn’t have to pay an architect either!

Remortgaging.

We remortgaged our house to fund the extension.  Although we have now about £20k more than we did left on the mortgage a few years back; our house has gone up in value so the next time we remortgage you could say we will easily get that back (not in our pocket unfortunately but on paper!?) and we are only paying about £80/month extra than we was!

We now have a fabulous new extension, a new garden (because we HAD to do that too once the builders had left so also consider budging for that too!), a whole new kitchen, dining and living room layout downstairs (we got another builder in to totally gut the existing house once the extension was done and it is honestly like a completely different house downstairs now!) and we absolutely love it!

I am soooo pleased we decided to extend.

Not only due to the money, legal fees, moving fees and obviously the advance we would’ve needed on the mortgage but the stress that just THINKING about moving house brought!  Plus the fact we would’ve had to have done the WHOLE house to make it ours and not just the downstairs too!

That AND having every Tom Dick and Harry walking around your house and your space deciding what they could change and then not even getting an offer from them….  phew I’m sweating just thinking about it!!

Having the extension put on the back of our house was 100% the best thing we could’ve done.  We still have bits that are unfinished 2 years later but I dread to think how long we would’ve been doing a whole house up for if we had have moved!

Thanks so much for reading.  I hope it helps if you too are in limbo with regards to making a decision to move or extend.  Obviously everyones circumstances are different but if they are similar to ours then 100% stay and extend !!

Kirsty x

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